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World Heritage
POLICY COMPENDIUM

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6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.6 - Fostering of peace and security

28. “Sustainable development and the conservation of the world’s cultural and natural heritage are undermined by war, civil conflict and all forms of violence. The World Heritage Convention is an integral part of UNESCO’s established mandate to build bridges towards peace and security. It is therefore incumbent upon States Parties, in conformity also with provisions of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (The 1954 Hague Convention) and its two (1954 and 1999) Protocols, for the States that have ratified them, as well as in accordance with the UNESCO Declaration concerning the Intentional Destruction of Cultural Heritage (2003) and international customary law protecting cultural property in the event of armed conflict, to ensure that the implementation of the World Heritage Convention is used to promote the achievement and maintenance of peace and security between and within States Parties”.

29. “Recalling also the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (2001), States Parties should therefore acknowledge the reality of cultural diversity within and around many World Heritage properties, and promote a culturally pluralistic approach in strategies for their conservation and management. States Parties should also recognise that peace and security, including freedom from conflict, discrimination and all forms of violence, require respect for human rights, effective systems of justice, inclusive political processes and appropriate systems of conflict prevention, resolution and post-conflict recovery”.

30. “States Parties have a critically important role to play in ensuring that the implementation of the World Heritage Convention, including the establishment of the World Heritage List and management of inscribed properties, are used to prevent conflicts between and within States Parties and to promote respect for cultural diversity and around World Heritage properties (…)”.

31. “During armed conflict, States Parties must refrain from any use of World Heritage properties and their immediate surroundings for purposes which are likely to expose them to destruction or damage. They must also refrain from any act of hostility directed against such properties (…)”.

32. “The inherent potential of World Heritage properties and of their conservation to contribute favourably to conflict resolution and re-establishment of peace and security should be acknowledged and harnessed (…)”

33. “During a conflict and in the post-conflict transition phase, World Heritage properties and their wider settings can make a significant contribution to recovery and socio-economic reconstruction (…)”.

Theme:  6.6 - Fostering of peace and security
Source:  Policy for the integration of a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention (WHC-15/20.GA/INF.13)

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.6 - Fostering of peace and security

21. "[The World Heritage Committee] appeals to all Member States of UNESCO to cooperate in the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural objects and illegal wildlife trade, as well as cultural heritage protection in general, including through the implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2199 (2015), 2253 (2015) and 2347 (2017) and of the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import and Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property."
Theme:  6.6 - Fostering of peace and security
Decision:  42COM 7

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.6 - Fostering of peace and security

2. "[The World Heritage Committee] expresses its utmost concern about the many conflicts which are affecting World Heritage properties and in particular the (…) cases where World Heritage properties are intentionally destroyed by parties involved in the conflict, and the people in charge of their protection targeted; (…) [and] seeks their support (…) for establishing property inventories and also requests the implementation of conservation measures for cultural properties threatened by armed conflict in other countries."
Theme:  6.6 - Fostering of peace and security
Decision:  37COM 7

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.6 - Fostering of peace and security

4. "[The World Heritage Committee] urges all parties associated with conflicts to refrain from any action that would cause further damage to cultural heritage and to fulfil their obligations under international law by taking all possible measures to protect such heritage, in particular the safeguarding of World Heritage properties and the sites included in the Tentative List;

5. Also urges the States Parties to adopt measures for the evacuation of World Heritage properties being used for military purposes."

Theme:  6.6 - Fostering of peace and security
Decision:  39COM 7

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.6 - Fostering of peace and security

13. "[The World Heritage Committee] launches an appeal to all Member States of UNESCO to cooperate in the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural heritage objects (UNESCO 1970 Convention) and illegal wildlife trade, including through the implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and to pursue the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding cultural heritage protection in conflict areas, especially Resolution 2199 and 2347."

Theme:  6.6 - Fostering of peace and security
Decision:  41COM 7

6 - Policies Regarding COMMUNITIES

6.6 - Fostering of peace and security

Synthesis based on relevant Committee decisions

The World Heritage Committee urges States Parties in conflict situations to safeguard damaged properties through minimal first aid interventions to prevent theft, further collapse and natural degradation, and to refrain from undertaking conservation and restoration work until the situation allows, for the development of comprehensive conservation strategies and actions that respond to international standards in full consultation with the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies (based on Case law further to Decisions concerning the State of Conservation).
Theme:  6.6 - Fostering of peace and security
See for examples Decisions:  39COM 7A.36 40COM 7A.22 41COM 7A.46 41COM 7A.50
Case law:  Yes
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